Meet The Team : Heather Pascal Yoga Teacher
What is your mission as a yoga instructor?
My mission as a yoga Instructor is to bring yoga to everyone, regardless of ability or experience. I want to hold space for my students to be authentically themselves without fear of judgement. Guiding and supporting them on their yoga journey with kindness, creativity and fun.
What can people expect from your yoga classes?
My classes cater to all abilities. I like to offer a range of variations throughout the practice so everyone feels included and comfortable to explore their practice freely. My Classes are uplifting and playful with elements of self-reflection and breath work, woven throughout. Expect to leave the class feel energized, empowered and deeply relaxed after a nice, long savasana.
What does your self-care routine look like at the moment?
Getting plenty of sleep and resting when I need to has been a game charger. Self- reflection and staying present are also very important to me, so I’ve replaced looking at my phone first thing in the morning to journaling and setting intentions for the day. I try to make time to meditate and do some yoga every morning but it tends to be gentle stretching and connecting to my breath rather than anything too strenuous. I listen to my body and go with what I need, each day. Eating nourishing food, exercising and getting out in nature, all keep me feeling positive and energized and help me stay on top of things mentally. Work/life balance is also super important. I make sure I have the time to do the things that bring me joy and spend time with the people I love.
What is your mantra?
Replace expectation with appreciation
How has your yoga practice changed and developed over time?
I used to be all about the physical aspect of yoga. I was very competitive with myself, compared myself to others, and always wanted to see results in certain poses. Over time the practice taught me to be kinder to myself. It took a few years of trying different styles and delving deeper into the philosophy of yoga when I eventually began to find an acceptance with my body’s strengths and limitations. Now my yoga practice is more about keeping my body healthy, bringing movement into my day and finding the peace and contentment that comes with living presently. Pranayama and mindfulness are two aspects that allow my busy mind the space and clarity to make the best decisions. This practice has been and continues to be an incredible tool for me to find patience, acceptance and bring love to myself and others.
What’s your favourite yoga pose?
That’s a toughie! If I really had to pick it would have to be standing forward fold – I love the release it gives across my back and the lengthening it brings to my hamstrings. But best of all I love how my view of this posture has changed. I used to be desperate to get my legs straight and my hands to the floor but by practicing gratitude and finding acceptance for my body, the end goal doesn’t really matter to me anymore. It’s all about how it feels at the time and if my hamstrings are tight and I need to bend my knees, then that is totally fine.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?
Let go of expectations or pre-conceived ideas of what you think your body should be able to do. Try not to compare yourself to others and photos on social media. Yoga is for everyone, no two bodies are the same and you are unique and enough as you are. Be patient and kind to yourself. Try different styles and teachers and find what connects best to you.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not teaching/ practicing yoga?
Before training as a yoga teacher I actually went to Drama School and spent the last 10 years working as an Actress. I love music, singing and dancing so you may not find me on the stage as often but you will usually find me singing some Billie Holiday in the bath. I enjoy getting outside, travelling and exploring new cities and love spending time with my friends, family and boyfriend. Which usually involves some good food and a wee glass of wine.
You can practice with Heather on Friday evenings at Studio 70. Book a class with her here!